The forearms are an often-neglected part of your physical development. After spending all that time working on biceps and triceps, it’s easy to dismiss the idea of a forearm routine. Indeed, many workout enthusiasts will assume that their forearms have already been sufficiently worked through other exercises.
There is some truth to this idea, as the forearm is used for almost every arm motion to one extent or another. However, it is also true that the forearms need a specific and focused routine. Since your forearms are rarely covered by a shirt, people are more likely to see them. Everyone is impressed by a big set of biceps/triceps, but the forearms will probably be the first thing that they see.
On a more practical level, strong forearms are the main determining factor when it comes to grip strength. Increased grip strength can also help your performance when performing other exercises. If you want to have a crushing sort of grip that can crack walnuts with ease, you don’t want to neglect this workout. Read on, and learn how to get your blood pumping and how to workout forearms properly.
The Three Best Forearm Exercises:
There are quite a few exercises that are meant to target the forearms, but we have chosen to focus on just three. A big forearms workout consisting of only these three exercises should be perfectly adequate to make your forearms swell up nice and big.
Dumbbell Hammer Curls
This is a common exercise that can be performed from either a standing or sitting position. Start by taking a dumbbell in each hand and letting your arms hang down to your sides. Your thumbs should be pointed forward, and your fingers should face inward (towards your leg).
Your elbows should be lined up with your rib cage. As you lift, imagine that your elbows are fixed in place and cannot be moved. Lift the dumbbell straight up and down like a piston, not allowing it to turn. Repeat with the other arm and keep going to exhaustion.
Proper posture plays a crucial role in your results. If you lean forward while lifting, your deltoids will start to work harder than your forearms and biceps. Obviously, that isn’t what you want, so keep your back straight and roll your shoulders backward by just a little bit.
You can work one arm at a time or both arms at once. It’s your choice, but it probably won’t make a huge difference. Using both arms at once will help you to get done with your workout more quickly, but it also puts a little more strain on your back.
Reverse-Grip Barbell Curls
Just about everyone has done barbell curls, so you aren’t likely to need much explanation for this one. However, this version is a little different. As the name of the exercise implies, you do the same exercise with your hands reverse. Instead of holding the barbell in front of you with palms up, hold it in front of you with palms down.
Many people find this exercise to be easier with a cambered bar. Using this type of bar should put less stress on the wrist, which is always good. There are no major muscles in the wrist itself, so no worries about neglect.
The most common mistake when doing this exercise is to lean forward. People seem inclined to do this because it keeps the bar from dragging against the front of their body. However, heavy lifting combined with bad posture is a recipe for injury. As you lift, keep the bar as close to your body as possible without touching.
Palms-Down Wrist Curl
This is a deceptively easy-looking exercise. It involves a very short motion, but it’s still pretty intense after you get going. This exercise will absolutely light up the tops of your forearms, hitting a muscle group that is often forgotten.
To start, take a seated position with a dumbbell in each hand. Choose a comfortable amount of weight so that you can do 8-10 reps without too much trouble. With your palms facing down, hang the weights over your knees. Let them dangle there, with your wrists fully bent forward.
Now you flex your wrists and roll the weights upward. It’s a very small motion, but it puts a serious burn on the forearms after a few reps. As you raise the dumbbells, they will have a tendency to swing outward, but this is no cause for concern. Be sure to maintain proper breathing, inhaling as you raise the weight and exhaling as it is lowered. Also, pretend that your forearms are glued to the tops of your legs.
Should I Use Lifting Straps?
No, you should definitely refrain from using lifting straps during your forearm workout. If you don’t know, these are simple straps that attach to your hand and wrap around the barbell pole. Although these devices will improve your grip and retention, they will also take some of the stress from your forearms. They will also lessen the benefits of the eccentric motion.
What About Metal Hand Gripper Exercisers?
Hand grippers are a perfectly valid way to improve the strength of your grip and the size of your forearms. Done correctly. this is an effective method. However, these hand grippers pose a higher risk of injury to the fingers. This is a big problem because you need your fingers for virtually everything else.
We were thinking about ending this article with a joke about Popeye and his ridiculously huge forearms, but these jokes are overused and not very appropriate. After all, Popeye has skinny little arms with giant forearms. A person with that build would look freakish in reality, so keep your ambitions in the realm of realism.
In spite of the frustrations that you may have experienced with this particular muscle group, it is more than possible to get the results that you want, creating a well-rounded set of arms that is both useful and impressive. We hope that you have enjoyed this article and that you will follow us on Facebook. This is where we keep all of our readers updated on the latest from the world of bodybuilding and fitness.
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